Enhancement of primary production in the North Atlantic outside of the spring bloom, identified by remote sensing of ocean colour and temperature

Tilstone, GH; Miller, PI; Brewin, RJW; Priede, IG. 2014 Enhancement of primary production in the North Atlantic outside of the spring bloom, identified by remote sensing of ocean colour and temperature. Remote Sensing of Environment, 146. 77-86. 10.1016/j.rse.2013.04.021

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2013.04.021

Abstract/Summary

The heterogeneity in phytoplankton production in the North Atlantic after the spring bloom is poorly understood. We analysed merged microwave and infrared satellite sea surface temperature (SST) data and ocean colour phytoplankton size class biomass, primary production (PP) and new production (ExP) derived from SeaWiFS data, to assess the spatial and temporal frequency of surface thermal fronts and areas of enhanced PP and ExP. Strong and persistent surface thermal fronts occurred at the Reykjanes Ridge (RR) and sub-polar front (SPF), which sustain high PP and ExP and, outside of the spring bloom, account for 9% and 15% of the total production in the North Atlantic. When normalised by area, PP at the SPF is four times higher than the RR. Analysis of 13 years of satellite ocean colour data from SeaWiFS, and compared with MODIS-Aqua and MERIS, showed that there was no increase in Chla from 1998 to 2002, which then decreased in all areas from 2002 to 2007 and was most pronounced in the RR. These time series also illustrated that the SPF exhibited the highest PP and the lowest variation in Chla over the ocean colour record. This implies that the SPF provides a high and consistent supply of carbon to the benthos irrespective of fluctuations in the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Botany
Earth Observation - Remote Sensing
Oceanography
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Sea from Space
Depositing User: Gavin Tilstone
Date made live: 09 Jun 2014 13:27
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 16:12
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/6116

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